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Hillary Unveils $110B A Yr “Free” Health Care

From an ecstatic Associated Press:

Clinton unveils health care plan

By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is unveiling a sweeping health care proposal Monday that would require everyone to carry health insurance and offer federal subsidies to help reduce the cost of coverage.

Fulfilling a pledge to bring health care to all, Clinton’s “American Health Choices Plan” has a price tag of about $110 billion per year. It represents her first major effort to achieve universal health coverage since 1994, when the plan she authored during her husband’s first term collapsed.

“It is long past time that Americans and the richest of all countries realize that health care is a right and not a privilege,” Clinton said at a labor forum in Chicago. “And that goes especially for people who work hard every single day.”

The former first lady says she has learned from the 1990s experience, which almost derailed Bill Clinton’s presidency and helped put Republicans in control of Congress for years to come. Aides say she has jettisoned the complexity and uncertainty of the last effort in favor of a plan that stresses simplicity, cost control and consumer choice.

The centerpiece of Clinton’s plan is the so-called “individual mandate,” requiring everyone to have health insurance — just as most states require drivers to purchase auto insurance. Rival John Edwards has also offered a plan that includes an individual mandate, while the proposal outlined by Barack Obama does not…

Aides said Clinton believes that an individual mandate is the only way to achieve health care for all. A key component of her plan would be a federal tax subsidy to help individuals pay for coverage.

Clinton’s plan builds on the existing employer-based system of coverage. People who receive insurance through the workplace could continue to do so; businesses, in turn, would be required to offer insurance to employees, or contribute to a government-run pool that would help pay for those not covered. Clinton would also offer a tax subsidy to small businesses to help them afford the cost of providing coverage to their workers.

For individuals and families who are not covered by employers or whose employer-based coverage is inadequate, Clinton would offer expanded versions of two existing government programs: Medicare, and the health insurance plan currently offered to federal employees. Consumers could choose between either government-run program, but aides stress that no new federal bureaucracy would be created under the Clinton plan.

Aides said Clinton will propose several specific measures to pay for her plan, including an end to some of the Bush-era tax cuts for people making more than $250,000 per year

Clinton is also expected to stress several cost-saving measures to help pay for universal coverage. She’s already recommended several such proposals, such as computerized medical record-keeping and a reduction in federal overpayments to hospitals and health maintenance organizations. She would also promote wellness and disease prevention as a way to reduce costs

How hilarious.

But not as hilarious as this passage from the earlier article:

Clinton is also expected to stress several cost-saving measures to help pay for universal coverage. She’s already recommended several such proposals, such as computerized medical record-keeping and a reduction in federal overpayments to hospitals and health maintenance organizations. She would also promote wellness and disease prevention as a way to reduce costs.

Oh yeah, that will work.

But notice that this isn’t from the Clinton announcement. The AP felt they had to add these to make her plan more credible.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, September 17th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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